There are more than 100 suburbs surrounding the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, but only 15 are first-ring suburbs… cities which touch either Minneapolis or St. Paul. These cities are still close to the city for easy commuting for both business and pleasure, and often have many things in common with the city neighborhoods on their borders. If you love urban living but are ready to move out of the city, first-ring suburbs could be a good option for you. They often have bigger lots, easier parking, good schools, and are more affordable both in price and taxes!

Each has its own unique identity. Here are some key characteristics of each, presented in alphabetical order. Note the average year homes were built and median price… that can give an idea of housing stock and styles to expect in each suburb. Although many of these suburbs began their lives as small farming villages in the 1800s, most saw their greatest growth in the mid 1900s following WII… consequently good places to look for mid-century homes, including 1 12/ story homes, ramblers and mid-century moderns.

Click on the homes for sale link for each city (cities in alphabetical order), then click on a listing for more city data below the property info, including profession and education of residents. The icons on the edge of the map by the photos will give you additional info… click on the mortarboard for schools… coffee cup for things such as restaurants, grocery stores, coffee shops, theaters, etc (type in category you want in FIND box). Note that not all restaurants, etc are the most current, but it can give you an idea of where different kinds of services tend to cluster.

Housing data is compiled from NorthstarMLS for all of 2017. Condos, town homes and twin homes are broken out from houses so you can get a sense of which suburbs have the most potential for finding those styles, if that is what you are looking for. School district grades are from NICHE.com. Individual schools within the district may vary. 

 BROOKLYN CENTER

Brooklyn Center is located on the west bank of the Mississippi River, touching the northwest corner of Minneapolis and crossing I-694, Hwy 100 and touching I-94. It has easy access to downtown Minneapolis and other parts of the metro. It started as farms focused on  market gardening for the city prior to WWII, and became a bedroom community and industrial job center after the war. Incorporated as a village in 1911 and as a city in 1966, they have recently rebranded themselves with a new tagline: AT THE CENTER… emphasizing affordability, proximity to major highways, diversity, parks and trails.

  • Population: 31,119
  • Average resident age: 32 years
  • Average annual income: $63,821

Brooklyn Center homes for sale

HOUSES
  • Median 2017 sale price: $189,900
  • Average finished square feet: 1,759
  • Number of 2017 sales: 423
  • Average year built: 1957
TOWNHOUSES/CONDOS/TWIN HOMES
  • Median 2017 sale price: $141,000
  • Average finished square feet: 1,382
  • Number of 2017 sales: 56
  • Average year built: 1983
NICHE.com school district rating: C-
Brooklyn Center City Website
Contact RE/MAX Results HomesMSP Team for more info or to see homes for sale: info@homesmsp.com

COLUMBIA HEIGHTS

Columbia Heights borders the north edge of Minneapolis, with hilly terrain, 5 lakes and one of the highest points in Hennepin, Ramsey, and Anoka Counties. The tiny village of Hilltop is in the center of Columbia Heights. This suburb with Polish-American roots was formed as a village in 1898 and became a city in 1921. It was selected by the National Civic League as one of 10 cities to win the All-America City Award in 2016 for outstanding community accomplishments. Columbia Heights came through as a shining example of a community that rose to the occasion of putting children first.

  • Population: 26,765
  • Average resident age: 38 years
  • Average annual income: $66,245

Columbia Heights homes for sale

HOUSES
  • Median 2017 sale price: $191,752
  • Average finished square feet: 1,609
  • Number of 2017 sales: 303
  • Average year built: 1951
TOWNHOUSES/CONDOS/TWIN HOMES
  • Median 2017 sale price: $165,000
  • Average finished square feet: 1,491
  • Number of 2017 sales: 70
  • Average year built: 1997
NICHE.com school district rating: B
Columbia Heights City Website
Contact RE/MAX Results HomesMSP Team for more info or to see homes for sale: info@homesmsp.com

EDINA

Edina started as a farming and milling community in the 1860s, was founded as a village in 1888, and today is one of the most affluent Twin Cities suburbs, known for its luxurious housing, exceptional shopping and outstanding schools. Its popular 50th & France shopping district borders the Minneapolis city lakes district. Edina serves as headquarters for several large companies and is well known as the home of Southdale, the country’s first enclosed shopping mall. The Southdale district has developed extensive walking paths along Centennial Lake, making it a walkable community connecting condos, apartments, shopping, library, and medical facilities. It is the home of the country’s first senior co-op and many affordable condos… no wonder its YMCA has the most active senior community in the metro. Its coveted location has made Edina the site of many tear downs for new construction in recent years, resulting in many new $1M+ homes.

  • Population: 49,373
  • Median resident age: 45 years
  • Median household income: $96,185

Edina homes for sale

HOUSES
  • Median 2017 sale price: $560,750
  • Average finished square feet: 3,209
  • Number of 2017 sales: 696
  • Average year built: 1964
TOWNHOUSES/CONDOS/TWIN HOMES
  • Median 2017 sale price: $183,600
  • Average finished square feet: 1,447
  • Number of 2017 sales: 321
  • Average year built: 1980
NICHE.com school district rating: A+
Edina City Website
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FALCON HEIGHTS

Falcon Heights is a small suburb on the northwest side of St. Paul, also close to Minneapolis. It is tucked into the southern section of Roseville and shares its school district. Falcon Heights is home to the St. Paul Campus of the University of Minnesota, the Bell Museum of Natural History and the Minnesota State Fairgrounds… meaning about 2/3 of its land is state owned. Luther Theological Seminary is also its neighbor. Relatively young as suburbs go, it became a village in 1949 and a city in 1973. Its University Grove community of architect designed homes is a unique treasure trove of modern architecture.

  • Population: 5,484
  • Median resident age: 33 years
  • Median household income: $71,765

Falcon Heights homes for sale

HOUSES
  • Median 2017 sale price: $289,950
  • Average finished square feet: 2,047
  • Number of 2017 sales: 56
  • Average year built: 1948
TOWNHOUSES/CONDOS/TWIN HOMES
  • Median 2017 sale price: $178,000
  • Average finished square feet: 1,196
  • Number of 2017 sales: 13
  • Average year built: 1990
NICHE.com school district rating: A- (Roseville school district)
Falcon Heights City Website
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FRIDLEY

Fridley is a suburb that is primarily north of I-694, but has some portions that wrap around the west side of Columbia Heights… with a small section that touches Minneapolis on the east side of the Mississippi. It became a village in 1949 and a city in 1957. It is the operational headquarters of Medtronic. In 1965 one out of 4 homes were damaged or destroyed when Fridley was hit by two F-4 tornadoes. In 1986 another tornado spent about 15 minutes in Springbrook Nature Center on the north edge of Fridley, destroying thousands of century old trees. Both Minneapolis and St. Paul draw their municipal water supply from the Mississippi River in Fridley. North and South Innsbruck are unique communities north and south of I-694 with many custom homes built by different builders/architects… in other words, not a typical development. It even has a very unique mid-century modern home on a unique lot that is one of the highest points in the metro area.

  • Population: 27,592
  • Median resident age: 35 years
  • Median household income: $54,652

Fridley homes for sale

HOUSES
  • Median 2017 sale price: $208,000
  • Average finished square feet: 1,800
  • Number of 2017 sales: 211
  • Average year built: 1962
TOWNHOUSES/CONDOS/TWIN HOMES
  • Median 2017 sale price: $150,000
  • Average finished square feet: 1,382
  • Number of 2017 sales: 71
  • Average year built: 1985
NICHE.com school district rating: B-
Fridley City Website

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GOLDEN VALLEY

Golden Valley is located on the west side of Minneapolis, with easy access into the city and the rest of the metro. Its hills and valleys include parks and nature areas, with parts of Minneapolis Theodore Wirth Park that rivals NYC Central Park within its borders. Founded as a village in 1886, it didn’t become a city until 1972, but much of it was developed in the 1950s and 1960s. This makes it a good suburb in which to find mid-century modern homes. Tyrol Hills, bordering Minneapolis on both the north and south sides of I-394 is a treasure trove of custom designed mid-century and modern homes on generous lots. Golden Valley is the corporate headquarters of General Mills. Golden Valley does not have its own school district… parts are in the Hopkins school district, parts in the Robbinsdale school district.

  • Population: 20,866
  • Median resident age: 47 years
  • Median household income: $81,534

Golden Valley homes for sale

HOUSES
  • Median 2017 sale price: $331,750
  • Average finished square feet: 2,389
  • Number of 2017 sales: 350
  • Average year built: 1962
TOWNHOUSES/CONDOS/TWIN HOMES
  • Median 2017 sale price: $180,000
  • Average finished square feet: 1,619
  • Number of 2017 sales: 67
  • Average year built: 1985
NICHE.com school district rating: A+ (Hopkins SD) / B- (Robbinsdale SD)
Golden Valley City Website

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LAUDERDALE

Lauderdale is the smallest of the first ring suburbs. It is easy to miss this tiny suburb less than half a mile in area, surrounded by Minneapolis, St. Paul, Roseville and Falcon Heights. The village was incorporated in 1949. Luther Theological Seminary touches its southeast corner, which is also close to the University of Minnesota St. Paul campus. It is served by Rosedale school district.

  • Population: 2,468
  • Median resident age: 32 years
  • Median household income: $41,792

Lauderdale homes for sale

HOUSES
  • Median 2017 sale price: $210,000
  • Average finished square feet: 1,472
  • Number of 2017 sales: 13
  • Average year built: 1945
TOWNHOUSES/CONDOS/TWIN HOMES
  • Median 2017 sale price: $127,750
  • Average finished square feet: 944
  • Number of 2017 sales: 8
  • Average year built: 1981
NICHE.com school district rating: A- (Roseville school district)
Lauderdale City Website
Contact RE/MAX Results HomesMSP Team for more info or to see homes for sale: info@homesmsp.com

MAPLEWOOD

Maplewood, which is the corporate headquarters of 3M Corporation, was incorporated in 1957. Its unusual shape stretches across most of the northern and eastern borders of St. Paul, giving it easy access to many different parts of the east metro. It includes both Battle Creek Regional Park and Keller Regional Park, the oldest park in the Ramsey County park system.

  • Population: 39,775
  • Median resident age: 39 years
  • Median household income: $62,527

Maplewood homes for sale

HOUSES
  • Median 2017 sale price: $235,000
  • Average finished square feet: 2,012
  • Number of 2017 sales: 444
  • Average year built: 1968
TOWNHOUSES/CONDOS/TWIN HOMES
  • Median 2017 sale price: $175,100
  • Average finished square feet: 1,573
  • Number of 2017 sales: 176
  • Average year built: 1993
NICHE.com school district rating: B
Maplewood City Website
Contact RE/MAX Results HomesMSP Team for more info or to see homes for sale: info@homesmsp.com

MENDOTA HEIGHTS

Centrally located along the southern bluffs of the Mississippi River between St. Paul and Minneapolis, Mendota was one of the oldest settlements in the area, incorporated as the village of Mendota Heights in 1956. Today it is a high quality, family oriented community with a focus on aesthetic excellence, surrounded by a green belt formed Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers and touching Fort Snelling State Park. Excellent schools and well-educated residents reflect the traditional but progressive character of the city.

  • Population: 1,172
  • Median resident age: 50 years
  • Median household income: $95,353

Mendota Heights homes for sale

HOUSES
  • Median 2017 sale price: $410,000
  • Average finished square feet: 3,052
  • Number of 2017 sales: 120
  • Average year built: 1972
TOWNHOUSES/CONDOS/TWIN HOMES
  • Median 2017 sale price: $296,000
  • Average finished square feet: 2,207
  • Number of 2017 sales: 55
  • Average year built: 1992
NICHE.com school district rating: A-
Mendota Heights City Website
Contact RE/MAX Results HomesMSP Team for more info or to see homes for sale: info@homesmsp.com

RICHFIELD

Located straight south of Minneapolis, Richfield is bordered by Edina’s Southdale area on the west and the MSP airport on the east. It began as a small farming community, became a village in 1908 and a city in 1950. Largely residential with many 1950s ramblers and 1 1/2 story homes, it also has a couple clusters of 55+ age condos. It park include the first municipal nature center in the metropolitan area. It is the headquarter for Best Buy corporation.

  • Population: 36,059
  • Median resident age: 37 years
  • Median household income: $52,954

Richfield homes for sale

HOUSES
  • Median 2017 sale price: $239,000
  • Average finished square feet: 1,706
  • Number of 2017 sales: 557
  • Average year built: 1952
TOWNHOUSES/CONDOS/TWIN HOMES
  • Median 2017 sale price: $141,250
  • Average finished square feet: 1,177
  • Number of 2017 sales: 50
  • Average year built: 1995
NICHE.com school district rating: B-
Richfield City Website

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ROBBINSDALE

In its early days Robbinsdale was a destination for duck hunting near Crystal Lake. The village of Robbinsdale was founded in 1893 as the first suburb to Minneapolis, with a city charter adopted in 1938. Now a suburb only 15 minutes from downtown with a small town feel, it is made up primarily of single family homes and is also home to the regional North Medical Center. It has charming homes with historic character, a great neighborhood feel, easy access to downtown Minneapolis and affordable prices. The eastern edge borders Victory Memorial Parkway…a Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway. The historic downtown is home to the 4-star restaurant Travail and Pig Ate My Pizza, both noteworthy foodie destinations.

  • Population: 14,289
  • Median resident age: 37 years
  • Median household income: $57,357

Robbinsdale homes for sale

HOUSES
  • Median 2017 sale price: $205,000
  • Average finished square feet: 1,654
  • Number of 2017 sales: 287
  • Average year built: 1948
TOWNHOUSES/CONDOS/TWIN HOMES
  • Median 2017 sale price: $210,000
  • Average finished square feet: 1,563
  • Number of 2017 sales: 35
  • Average year built: 1999
NICHE.com school district rating: B-
Robbinsdale City Website

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ROSEVILLE

Roseville is uniquely situated with with borders touching both St. Paul and Minneapolis. With parks, trails and major shopping centers, as well as easy access to both downtowns and multiple colleges and universities, it is a great location loved by people who live there.  Roseville Central Park is one of the largest city parks in the area…so big that it is officially listed as five different developed parks connected by trails and one undeveloped park area…so sprawling that it is divided by three major streets…so broad that it has something for almost everyone. It includes a nature center, arboretum, lake, playgrounds and picnic areas, amphitheater and 6 ball fields!

  • Population: 34,948
  • Median resident age: 41 years
  • Median household income: $63,678

Roseville homes for sale

HOUSES
  • Median 2017 sale price: $259,000
  • Average finished square feet: 2,049
  • Number of 2017 sales: 373
  • Average year built: 1961
TOWNHOUSES/CONDOS/TWIN HOMES
  • Median 2017 sale price: $149,375
  • Average finished square feet: 1,364
  • Number of 2017 sales: 142
  • Average year built: 1983
NICHE.com school district rating: A-
Roseville City Website

RELATED POST

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ST. ANTHONY VILLAGE

St. Anthony Village (not to be confused with nearby St. Paul suburb St. Anthony Park) was incorporated in 1945, when it was still largely agricultural and rural. Today this first ring suburb between northeast Minneapolis and Roseville is uniquely positioned in both Hennepin and Ramsey counties, close to both campuses of the University of Minnesota and both Minneapolis and St. Paul. It is well know for its outstanding schools, which do not accept open enrollment. It is not uncommon for people to buy in St. Anthony specifically to be in its exceptional school district, which has only one elementary school, one middle school, and one high school. It is the home of wonderful Silverwood Regional Park on Silver Lake, part of the Three Rivers Park District. Its emphasis on the arts includes classes, art exhibitions and free outdoor summer concerts.

  • Population: 8,662
  • Median resident age: 41 years
  • Median household income: $60,742

St. Anthony homes for sale

HOUSES
  • Median 2017 sale price: $303,750
  • Average finished square feet: 2,093
  • Number of 2017 sales: 84
  • Average year built: 1959
TOWNHOUSES/CONDOS/TWIN HOMES
  • Median 2017 sale price: $169,000
  • Average finished square feet: 1,277
  • Number of 2017 sales: 50
  • Average year built: 1986
NICHE.com school district rating: A-
St. Anthony City Website

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ST. LOUIS PARK

St. Louis Park borders the west side of Minneapolis near the city lakes district and is known for its 1 1/2 story homes built for returning vets and their families after WWII. It was incorporated as a city in 1954, but its history extends back to 1886, when it was incorporated as a village. It is also the site of the first highway cloverleaf when Highway 100 was built by the WPA in the 1930s. Its location near the lakes, easy access into the city, and mix of housing styles from starter homes to luxury homes makes it a suburb always in demand. It includes the first Trader Joe’s in the Excelsior and Grand ‘surban’ development, the first movie theater complex with reserved seating and liquor service in the West End development, and a ‘rails to trails’ corridor with bike paths connecting to the city lakes, downtown and western suburbs.

  • Population: 47,043
  • Median resident age: 35
  • Median household income: $66,432

St. Louis Park homes for sale

HOUSES
  • Median 2017 sale price: $290,500
  • Average finished square feet: 1,844
  • Number of 2017 sales: 648
  • Average year built: 1951
TOWNHOUSES/CONDOS/TWIN HOMES
  • Median 2017 sale price: $170,950
  • Average finished square feet: 1,174
  • Number of 2017 sales: 292
  • Average year built: 1986
NICHE.com school district rating: B
St. Louis Park City Website

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WEST ST. PAUL

The first settlers arrived in the mid 1800s and West St. Paul was incorporated in 1889. Today it is home to Dodge Nature Center, which reflects its lush green fields, lakes and wildlife… all within minutes of downtown St. Paul.

West St. Paul has 15 parks, a municipal golf course, ice arena, the Regional Athletics Center dome, and community swimming pool. The City is also home to Dodge Nature Center, Southview Country Club, and Thompson County Park.  West St. Paul boasts a superior public educational system, along with some great private schools.  We have a diverse, well-maintained housing stock available with an established housing program to maintain the housing quality.  There are over 600 businesses in West St. Paul, including a light industrial park. South Robert Street is a busy thoroughfare that has approximately 30,000 cars travel it per day. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the population of West St. Paul is 19,504

  • Population: 19,709
  • Median resident age: 38
  • Median household income: $47,710

West St. Paul homes for sale

HOUSES
  • Median 2017 sale price: $206,000
  • Average finished square feet: 1,699
  • Number of 2017 sales: 249
  • Average year built: 1946
TOWNHOUSES/CONDOS/TWIN HOMES
  • Median 2017 sale price: $139,950
  • Average finished square feet: 1,327
  • Number of 2017 sales: 64
  • Average year built: 1982
NICHE.com school district rating: A- (West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Egan school district)
West St. Paul City Website
Contact RE/MAX Results HomesMSP Team for more info or to see homes for sale: info@homesmsp.com

 

Is the seller required to make repairs following an inspection?

 

It depends. Some Twin Cities communities require an inspection, commonly referred to as TISH (Truth-in-Sale-of-Housing) inspections, when selling a home. Some require that certain repairs be made. But not every community requires an inspection at all, and for some communities that do require the inspection the report is simply informational. This inspection is the responsibility of the seller. We will explain what is required in the community where you are buying.

For buyer inspections the simple answer is no, a seller has no obligation to fix any issues found at a buyer’s inspection. A buyer’s inspection is a private inspection paid for by the buyer for the buyer’s information. There is no requirement that the seller fix anything simply because of a buyer’s inspection. In fact, the inspection contingency addendum specifically states… THE PROPERTY, IF NOT NEW, CANNOT BE EXPECTED TO BE IN NEW CONDITION. ROUTINE MAINTENANCE ITEMS ARE NOT PART OF THIS ADDENDUM.

That said, there may be things that come up in a buyer’s inspection that also come up as required fixes in a city time of sale inspection (required in these cities)… and buyers will frequently ask for something following the inspection. Most often the items sellers will agree to address are those that are a health or safety hazard, or things that are not working properly… often things they were unaware of themselves or they would have already fixed them.

Most buyers make their offer to purchase a property contingent upon a complete home inspection…for good reason. If you are like most people, buying a home is the biggest single investment you will ever make. It makes sense to protect that investment by having a qualified, professional inspector take an in-depth, unbiased look at your new home before you buy.

A professional buyer’s home inspection will:

  • Evaluate the structure, construction and mechanical systems
  • Identify items that need to be repaired or replaced… either now or to plan for in the future
  • Provide an education on home ownership for first-time home buyers… what I often consider to be the biggest benefit of a buyer’s home inspection

Not all inspectors and inspections are the same… here is a link to a sample report and list of what is included in a buyer’s inspection by Structure Tech Home Inspections, who we consider to be among the best in the business.

The inspection contingency period is usually completed within 10 days of coming to an agreement on a property. Plan on about 2-4 hours for a complete inspection. If you include a radon test, ask to have it set to be picked up at your regular inspection. You may also choose to add a sewer line scope and/or professional fireplace inspection as part of your general inspection.

After reviewing the report you have three options: (1) accept everything as is and proceed to closing; (2) ask the seller to fix specific things prior to closing or give a price allowance for you to have them fixed after closing through either a contribution to buyer closing costs or a price reduction; or (3) cancel the purchase and have your earnest money refunded.

The seller can choose how to respond by either (1) agreeing to do everything the buyer asks; (2) negotiating requested repairs and/or compensation; or (3) refusing to do anything and cancelling the agreement, refunding earnest money to the buyer.

With so many buyers making quick decisions on properties in our highly competitive market there seem to be more cancellations after the buyer’s inspection than ever this year… an even bigger reason to make your offer subject to inspection if you are buying.

Of course the flip side to that is… if you are certain there is nothing that an inspection would reveal that would make you change your mind about purchasing a particular home and there are multiple offers, making your offer not subject to inspection could make your offer more attractive… but this is not something to be considered lightly… make sure you understand the risks involved.

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